Patti Lupone at Hill Auditorium — Review

The first of the fall’s big local Broadway Events occured last night at Hill Auditorium, presented by the University Musical Society at the University of Michigan — Patti Lupone in concert (“Coulda Woulda Shoulda”).

Comprised of songs she has sung in Broadway productions, songs she could have sung, and songs she made her own with a special twist, the two-hour evening was thrilling, entertaining, and reminded the audience just what a Broadway Diva Patti truly is.

Starting the evening off by shouting “Go Blue” followed by an anti-OSU slur, she had the crowd in the palm of her hand from the first moments — what followed was pure Broadway at it’s best. “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” continues to amaze, and a set in which she sang songs normally performed by men on stage was fun and edgy.

The years have mellowed Patti. Her stories between song sets are tamer, and less obscenity-strewn. I’ve seen her perform many many times live now — on stage in Evita, Sunset Boulevard, Gypsy, Anything Goes…on stage with her cabaret show at NYC’s Bottom Line on two occasions, and in several other performances in NYC. She no longer shares stories of intoxicated travels while performing on cruise ships. This is a more refined Patti — a Patti that has literally seen it all, and then some.

She’s been performing the Coulda Woulda Shoulda concert now since 2007, alternating performances with her Patti Live concert, and a shared evening with Mandy Patinkin. No matter which incarnation of her concert you see, she’s a force to be reckoned with, and remains one of America’s musical theatre treasures.

Ann Arbor was treated to a taste of what makes her special — and what makes Broadway special. I rode out a migraine through the show, because she is a diva not to be missed. Brava Patti, Brava. Oh, and I agree….the Buckeyes DO suck…

And that’s the view from Ann Arbor today.

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